Thursday, June 17

Prince Dadian of Mingrelia, 1850-1910

We report with sadness the death in Kiev, on the 12th inst., of the well-known chess Maecenas and brilliant amateur Prince Dadian of Mingrelia. An educated, cultured man - he is reported to have had a command of half a dozen languages - the Prince was equally famous for his sparkling offhand games as for his munificent liberality in supporting chess Masters and master tournaments. Indeed, until recent years Prince Dadian, though never entering the lists himself, was a frequent attendee at many continental events, and it is much to be regretted the he rather withdrew from involvement with the contemporary chess scene after the Monte Carlo event of 1903. (That, it will be recalled, was the tournament at which there arose an unfortunate contretemps when Prince Dadian, in his capacity as President of the Tournament Committee, insisted on the exclusion of the late Chigorin, who had been invited to participate, and who had already made the long journey from St. Petersburg expressly for that prupose. Prince Dadian's demands were based on his claims that Chigorin had slighted him in person and in print; to the Prince's credit, let it be said that he did susbequently indemnify the Russian master in an amount greater than the third prize in the tournament. And there we wish to let this old matter rest.)

The Prince, a true lover of our noble pastime, leaves a legacy of beautiful games behind. May he rest in peace - and may his finest works live on.

We give herewith a small selection of the Prince's games:

Prince Dadian - Kolisch Offhand game 1885
Bishop's Opening, Boden-Kieseritsky Gambit
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Bc4 Nxe4 4.Nc3 Nxc3 5.dxc3 f6 6.Nh4 g6 7.O-O d6 8.f4 Qe7 9.fxe5 dxe5 10.Be3 Nc6 11.Qe2 Bd7 12.b4 O-O-O 13.a4 Bg7 14.b5 Nb8 15.b6 axb6 16.a5 bxa5 17.Rfb1 Nc6 (Diagram)
18.Rxb7 Kxb7 19.Ba6+ Ka8 20.Bb7+ Kxb7 21.Qb5+ Kc8 22.Qa6+ Kb8
23.Rxa5 Nxa5 24.Qa7+ Kc8 25.Qa8 mate.

Prince Dadian - M. Bitcham Offhand game 1892 Two Knights Defense

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d4 exd4 5.O-O Nxe4 6.Re1 d5
7.Bxd5 Qxd5 8.Nc3 Qc4 9.Rxe4+ Be6 10.Bg5 Bc5 11.Nd2 Qa6 12.Nb3 Bb6 13.Nd5 h6 14.Nc5 Qb5 15.Rxe6+ Kf8 16.Nd7+ Kg8 17.Qg4 h5 (diagram)

18.N5f6+ gxf6 19.Bh6+ hxg4 20.Nxf6 mate

Dadian and Schiffers - Lebedev and Yurevich Consultation game 1903 King's Gambit
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.Bc4 g4 5.d4 gxf3 6.Qxf3 d5 7.Bxd5 Nf6 8.O-O c6 (Diagram) Schiffers, in presenting this game in his chess column in Niva, wrote that he refused to accept Prince Dadian's recommendation for the following move, considering it nothing more than the throwing away of a second piece. The Prince remaining adamant as to the value of his suggestion, Schiffers thereupon quit the game, leaving his erstwhile royal partner to deal with two consulting opponents single-handedly. The result speaks for itself. 9.Nc3 Dadian's move. 9...cxd5 10.exd5 Bg7 11.Bxf4 Bf5 12.Rae1+ Kf8 13.Bxb8 Bg4 14.Qf4 Qxb8 15.d6 Be6 16.d5 Nxd5 17.Nxd5 Bxd5 18.Re7 h6 19.Rxf7+ Kg8 20.Rxg7+ Kxg7 21.Qf6+ Kh7 22.Qe7+ Kg8 23.Rf4 Qc8 24.d7 Black resigns. 1-0.